Blocking nerves

I always get nervous when it comes to the final step in a knit project – blocking. Not so much the blocking bit, but the washing bit. So nervous that I usually skip the step entirely.

When you’ve spent so many hours working on something, the thought of it possibly felting, or otherwise going horribly wrong is quite nerve-wracking.

But, it had to be done, so after a couple of days procrastinating, I tried not to think about it too much and threw* it in the machine.

*carefully placed inside a mesh laundry bag, with nothing else in the machine, having checked and double checked all settings and the detergent, cross-referenced with all useful advice I could find in a quick Google search.

It emerged feeling lighter and softer and floppier than it went in, and has stretched out beautifully and so much bigger than I thought. I love it!

Can’t wait to get this packed up nicely and sent off to my friend.

It’s blocking!

I dont think I’ve ever blocked anything, but this evening I cast off the shrug at last, sewed in the ends where I’d joined in new balls, and dunked the shrug in a sinkfull of cold water. No idea if thats the right way to do it, but that’s what I did.

I pushed it gently under the water to make sure it was fully wet, then drained the sink and gently squeezed out as much water as i could. I rolled it up in a towel, then stretched it out on a dry towel on the sofa and pinned it in place.

Hopefully it will be dry by morning and then all I’ve got to do is sew up each sleeve seam and its done! Amongst all the many other things I have to do tomorrow… *fingers in ears lalala* it’ll be fine! I’m so excited!

Cast off!

Woohoo! I’ve cast off the back panel of my cardigan! This is my first ever real knitting project – I’ve not even made so much as a scarf before – so I’m really quite excited and pleased with my achievement. Now I need to take the final step and cut the yarn, which always feels like the point of no return, as up til now I’ve always had the option of frogging everything and starting something different. But the panel looks like it’s the right shape according to the diagrams and I’m pretty sure I’ve followed all the instructions and dimensions as closely as possible, so I think it’s good to go.

The next job will be to block it, which is another new venture for me. I bought some of those interlocking foam mats the other day, specifically to use as blocking mats, though they’ve already been purloined by my boys for their own amusement. Not that I object too much to that – they are designed for kids to play on after all – I just hope I can steal them back for long enough to get the blocking done.